LEWIS, Richard (c.1623-1706), of Edington Priory, nr. Westbury and Corsham, Wilts. and The Van, Bedwas, Glam.
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Family and Education
b. c.1623, 3rd but 2nd. surv. s. of Sir Edward Lewis (d. 1630) of Edington Priory and The Van by Lady Anne, da. of Robert Sackville†, 2nd Earl of Dorset, wid. of Edward, Ld. Beauchamp; bro. of William Lewis†. m. (with £1,000) Mary (d. 1697), da. and h. of Giles James of Sherston Pinkney, Wilts., 3s. (2 d.v.p.), 2da. (d.v.p.). suc. nephew Edward Lewis in Glam. estates 1674.1
Freeman, Devizes 1684–7.2
Lewis’ family established themselves among the more prominent families in south Glamorgan from the later 16th century through astute marriages and property purchases. His father first branched into England by purchasing a lease of the former monastic lands at Edington, four miles from Westbury. Lewis renewed the lease from the Powlett family for a 44-year term in 1653, and his local influence secured him one of the two chief interests in Westbury, enabling him to represent the borough almost without a break from 1660. He was returned for Westbury again in 1690 when he was classed as a Tory by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) at the beginning of the Parliament, and as a likely supporter of Carmarthen in December. In April 1691 Robert Harley* classed him as a Court supporter. In other respects it is impossible to distinguish his activity from that of John Lewis* and Thomas Lewes*. In 1695 he again sat for Westbury, the remaining years of his lease at Edington allowing him to retain his personal interest and influence in the borough even though he may by then have moved northwards to Corsham which he had purchased in 1694 from Richard Kent’s* heir. He was forecast as likely to oppose the government on 31 Jan. 1696 over the proposed council of trade, and voted against fixing the price of guineas at 22s. in March. He had also refused the Association, the Speaker informing the House on 31 Mar. 1696 that Lewis had written to him asking to be excused from subscribing. His name appears at the beginning of the 1698 Parliament on what was probably a list of those opposed to a standing army, but he did not vote against the disbanding bill on 18 Jan. 1699. In the 1701 Parliament he was listed as likely to support the Court over the ‘Great Mortgage’.3
Lewis did not stand again, presumably on account of his age. He made his will on 14 May 1705, leaving £50 each to the ministers of Corsham and St. Fagan’s, Glamorgan, where he had inherited an estate from his nephew in 1674. St. Fagan’s was bequeathed to his only surviving son, Thomas I*, and annuities worth £26, to be drawn from its rental income, were established for three named servants. Lewis died on 1 Oct. 1706, aged 83, and was buried at Corsham. His son set up memorials to him at both Edington and Corsham, and sold the latter property in the same year to the executors of Henry Frederick Thynne.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Paula Watson / Henry Lancaster
- 1. Wilts. Arch. Mag. xx. 291; G. T. Clark, Gens. of Morgan and Glam. 52; Wilts. N. and Q. i. 229; Arch. Camb. ser. 3, vii. 20–21; PCC 50 Coventry, 14 Bunce, 31 Barrington.
- 2. B. H. Cunnington, Annals of Devizes, i. 181.
- 3. DWB, 546; Glam. Hist. i. 82–3; Wilts. Arch. Mag. 290–2; Wilts. RO, 358/1; J. E. Jackson, Edington Monastery, 51; CJ, xi. 540.
- 4. Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxiv. 302; J. Aubrey, Wilts. Colls. 79; Misc. Her. and Gen. ser. 2, iv. 333; PCC 260 Eedes.